Mary Maddison Reads My Stones
Yvonne Higgins Leach


The faraway froth beats the black rocks of the Beara Peninsula
as I sit across Mary Maddison in the imbued light
that flicks off the stones she asks me to pick from the wicker basket.

The act feels sacred—the geography of the earth in the luminous names I am given:
peridot, sodalite, unakite jasper, amethyst.

All I see are her smooth-blue eyes
and the eloquence of light through her white hair.
All I hear is the lyrical intonation of her voice.
Had I the capacity for more in this moment
I would touch the heather curling in the corner vase
and taste the scones on the flowered plate
I passed in the kitchen, but I am full
of an emergence I cannot explain.
Through matter, can the unseen be seen?

Mary sits back from the stones
and closes her eyes. Behind her,
more stones exist in their honed habits.
A peacock shifts its weight by the window.

Mary says that a dead relative is here
who once lived in a stone house
fronting the Atlantic. She brings me primroses.
She wishes me well.

An ancient and eternal belonging awakens inside me,
now the only language in the room.



Yvonne Higgins Leach is the author of Another Autumn (WordTech Editions, 2014). Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies. A native of Washington state, she earned a Master of Fine Arts from Eastern Washington University. For more information, visit her here.